As established in its statutes, the objective of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) is "to ensure unity and the proper use of the Spanish language through its activities, works and publications". It is organized in plenary session and in commissions that meet periodically. Despite its official nature and public interest, it is not a public institution, but a private one.
The Plenary of the Royal Spanish Academy, made up of tenured academics, has the help of the Governing Board, whose members are elected for temporary mandates, and of different commissions to deal with linguistic, economic or government affairs, among others. .
Since its founding in 1713, the institution has had 485 academics. The 46 academic seats are for life and the only letters of the alphabet that are not represented in the seats of the RAE are: v, w, x, y, z, Ñ, W, Y. The election to occupy a seat is carried out among the people that the Academy "considers most worthy, by secret ballot and, as a minimum, by an absolute majority of votes."
Since 2018, the director of the RAE, the highest representative of the organization, is Santiago Muñoz Machado. The term in office is four years, although under exceptions he may opt for two re-elections.
Currently, the 41 seats of the RAE are occupied by the following 33 men and eight women (in order of entry and their position on the Governing Board in parentheses):
According to the criteria of The Trust Project